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Another week, another increase at the gas pump. This time, prices are 11 cents more than just seven days ago.

At this rate, motorists can expect to see $3 at the pump in less than a month, according to GasBuddy spokesman Patrick De Haan.

De Haan said OPEC “surprised oil markets" last week by extending oil production cuts for another month, ignoring the resurgence in global demand as economies recover from COVID-19. 

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“Markets responded by pushing oil prices up some 12%,” De Haan said. “As a result, motorists should prepare for further gas price increases in the weeks and potentially months ahead, with a $3 per gallon national average potentially less than a month away.”

Florida gas prices jumped 11 cents last week, according to AAA - The Auto Club Group.  The state average is now $2.72 per gallon; the most expensive daily average price since May 2019.

AAA cites five reasons for the recent hikes: tightening global crude oil supplies, lower gasoline supplies due to recent cold weather, rising fuel demand as more people are vaccinated against COVID-19, the more expensive summer blend moving into the market and geopolitical tensions in Syria caused by recent missile strikes.

According to AAA:

• In less than one month, the average price of gas has climbed 26 cents.

• Prices have increased an average of 53 cents per gallon since Jan. 1.

• Pump prices increased 18 cents in January, 24 cents in February, and 11 cents so far in March. 

"It's extremely frustrating as a consumer to feel helpless as prices soar and as millions remain unemployed, so the only advice I can offer consumers is prepare for further increases, and to mitigate rising prices, shop around for the low prices every time you need to refuel," De Haan said.

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or mbates@chronicleonline.com. To see more of his stories, visit  tinyurl.com/y6kb23vv.